Norway defends Breivik prison conditions in appeals hearing

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The Norwegian government is presenting its closing statement in an appeal against a lower court ruling that mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik's isolation in prison violates his human rights.

During the trial, the state has sought to show that Breivik does have meaningful human contacts on a daily basis, including a private weekly meeting with a priest who does not have to report back to prison officials on the content of their discussions.

The hearing is taking place at the high-security prison in southern Norway where Breivik, a right-wing extremist, is serving a 21-year sentence for killing 77 people in a 2011 bomb-and-shooting rampage. Breivik, 37, told the court on Thursday that his solitary confinement in prison has deeply damaged him and made him even more radical in his neo-Nazi beliefs.

A ruling is expected in February.